Blog Posts-Summary Comment on Course Ideas and Material

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16 thoughts on “Blog Posts-Summary Comment on Course Ideas and Material

  1. I really enjoyed this class because it explored new ideas and concepts that we take for granted on a daily basis. My favorite course material would have to be the different articles and chapters on community and home. Sanders brings up a lot of good points on home. It’s the place we go to to feel relaxed and protected. That’s why so many people have a hard time leaving or staying away from their childhood home. Then we have Wendell berry who is super passionate about the environment and nature. It is a beautiful topic because nature is what connects us to everything. People need to then learn to live in harmony with it and the cycles that we experience. To do this we need to become more localized and have a more intimate connection with the land so that we can have a better understanding of what is going on around us. One of the best things that he states is that, ‘There is no excuse for the personal destruction of the world.’ I agree with this, we go through life focused on ourselves instead of our surroundings and environment. So if we want to continue a thriving community we need to change our perspective and take action to go green. We see from David Boiller that the commons is a good thing rather than the misconceptions of it being a failure. Failure of the commons is when people gain motivation to take responsibility for resources if they are guaranteed private ownership and access to free markets. This will cause tragic outcomes. The commons are the resources and values we share, so according to Boiller we should be exploring new ways of keeping infrastructures open and accessible so that we can further ways in keeping our community in line to thrive. I agree with all this, if we focus only on our desire to make money we will miss out on so much. Out of everything we read these were my favorite subjects to explore because they cause us to think harder on what we have and what we can do to better this earth.

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  2. I really liked this class. I learned about the world, nature, and how nature is affecting our lives. After this class I am much more informed about what we need to do in the future in order to make a “good society”. I thought the concentric circles in the syllabus represented the class very well. I would say the main points of this class were to study the each of the circles and see how they are all related and connected. The most important concept I believe we learned in this class was the idea of interdependence. People need to realize that we are all connected and that the health/fate of each of the circles lies within the health of all. If one aspect is not functioning correctly then all aspects of the concentric circle are directly affected. I believe this class heavily criticized the way of life people have been living and what changes need to be done in order to transform to a healthier lifestyle.If changes are not made to our everyday life style soon there will be permanent damage to nature and therefore to all living life. Our natural resources are running out, deforestation is leaving little trees, pollution of waters, etc. Though many of the pieces criticized society today almost all of the essays and author ended with hope for the future or a call of action from the people. Nearly all of the authors solutions involved getting in touch and establishing a relationship with nature. A reoccurring theme throughout the semester was that bringing nature back into our lives will allow for healing, renewal, and benefit our physical and psychological well being. I feel I am leaving this class with a better understanding of the importance nature’s role has on our lives. In order to create a “good society” for the future we need to start at the base of all living things, nature, and bring it back into our lives so that the future generations can appreciate its wonders also.

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    • 2 points (second posting of the week). I’m glad you got a lot out of the class. Interdependence is indeed one of the most important concepts to take away, and I’m glad you were sensitive to the hopeful message of most of our writers.

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  3. Initially, I did not know what to expect when signing up for “The Good Society”. I did not know what was meant by the phrase “good society”. However, I came to enjoy this class because it reiterated and expanded upon concepts which I already believed to be true. I am a huge advocate for finding stress relief/improving overall well-being in nature, so I really enjoyed “The Nature Principle” (Vitamin N) and portions of Sanders dealing with nature as therapy. These are concepts which I had already incorporated into my life, so by talking about them in class I was able to make personal connections. Additionally, my favorite author which we worked with in class would have to be Scott Russell Sanders. I was able to relate to his stories the most of all the authors, as he emphasized the importance of nature, home, family, and community. Even though I am from a very different background than Sanders, I was able to connect to his work through certain elements of home. His work got me thinking about my values and the importance of home. Finally, the most thought-provoking piece of work we covered in class would have to be “Think like a Commoner” by Bollier. Prior to this book, I had no sense of what the commons were or why they are important. I now have a better understanding of the commons in society and the issues surrounding them.

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    • 2 points (second posting of the week). I’m glad you had some ideas you came in with affirmed by our class material as well as some new ideas introduced to you. Sanders has written a lot, so there’s a lot more to explore of his work if you’re interested.

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  4. Throughout the semester, I really have enjoyed the class. What we had learned based on the conceptual circles are some concepts that I, personally, was not aware anytime because I was just too used to living around it. In other words, nature, society, community, and home were all ignored in my life despite the importance of it to my life because I was just too used to it. However, this class provided a wake-up call to make me realize how important each factor is to my life. I have been questioning myself all the time since my freshman year if the college really teaches any materials that can be really applied to reali lives. Many classes are theoretical and very philosophical that it is almost impossible to apply course materials to the real lives. However, this class was different in a sense that all the materials that we have learned can be seen, applied, and used in my real life. All implications that we have made throughout the semester was very interesting and surprising. Among all the concepts, I thought that the concept of home is the most important but easily ignored. Many authors argue that home is a place where it is granted some spritiual aspects. I really did not have my own definition of home until I took this course because home was just a place where I can take some rest and feel the comfort. However, this class made me create my own definition of home and made me pursuit of home as I get older. I, now, know what to do in otder to form a perfect home according to my own dictionary based on many authors’ literatures that I have read. Again, this class was very interesting and helpful because I physicall felt I learned something because of an application to my real life.

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    • 2 points (second posting of the week). I’m glad you got so much out of the class and that you see some real applicability to what we studied. You’re right that a lot of people don’t really think of these issues a lot because we exist within them every day–it’s kind of like the old question, “How does a fish know it’s in water?”

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  5. I have enjoyed this class from beginning to end. Before this class, I was aware that i had a deep connection with nature but I didn’t know why or how this happened. By looking further into the connections we make between home and nature really helped me understand why I always enjoy hiking and just the fresh air the outdoors has to bring. I also found some of the information we learned about to be eye opening . When I first started to hear about how we are using up all our resources at a rate in which they can’t be replenished or sustained, I didn’t know weather to believe this concept or not. I thought that organic farmers were just trying to make a push for their product which is being outsold due to low production costs and less work when considering GMO’s. Now I see that this isn’t the case. Another thing that I liked about this class was the final project. For this I was assigned to analyze community and society in Iowa city. By doing this I found much more information about the campus and what makes up the community/ societal values. If I could change one thing about the class, I would try to make us clearly identify how we can make the distribution of work equal among the commons. Overall, I really enjoyed being in the class and learning about many ways we view nature that I just wouldn’t of thought of without taking this class.

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  6. I liked this class, it was actually nothing that I imagined. I imagined that we would talk a lot more on what our view of a perfect society is. I expected this to be a sociology-like class. I was pleasantly surprised. Before this class, I had no idea about the impact of nature and how much it effects all portions of life. I really enjoyed Richard Louv’s work. I like tat we have the blog because it gives us a chance to discuss what we know and get a grade for it. This class was not nearly as conceptual as I expected, it related to real life in a wonderful way. Many important issues are being ignored in our world that I learned about in this class. Overall this has been a wonderful class.

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  7. I really enjoyed this class. I feel like one of the most important things I’ve learned is the several different perspectives of all the writers we talked about all throughout the semester, and to add on to that, I feel like sharing each others’ perspectives in class really contributed to our learning. One of the most interesting things we’ve learned about I think is the topic about home. I remember it was one of the first few classes of the semester and Professor Dean went around class asking each one of us to talk about what we consider home, it was really cool to hear the many different and various ideas of what people would consider home as. Also, I was really glad my group decided to focus on that topic for our final group presentation.
    Though I thought there were many interesting things we talked about, I also am aware that a lot of the things we discussed really woke me up and made me learn lessons from. One of the most important ideas and I think everyone can agree on is that all the components of the concentric circle that we talked about are dependent on each other. All parts of the circle must be working well in order for it to be working well as a whole. Also, I think that many of the authors we talked about really encouraged us to believe that if we don’t believe that we can make a difference as a society, then we really aren’t getting anywhere. We need to stop talking about living better lives and actually move towards it. Speaking of that, it is obvious that almost all the authors emphasized the idea of connecting with nature and working towards integrating it into our lives much, much more than we do now, which I do think is really important. I do believe that if we take all the lessons we’ve learned and work towards getting to where we want, we can definitely make a difference to the better.

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    • 2 points (missed deadline). It’s good to hear you benefited from the class so well and saw the “big picture” of interdependence–how all aspects of our lives and society must work in harmony in order to create both a strong home and a good society.

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  8. This class helped me to realize how much I already appreciated nature, and taught me to appreciate it even more by exposing the health benefits of it. This class made everything clearer, explaining why it usually feels so good to be outside. I think that this class teaches one of how important it is to preserve nature, and I always wanted to say that this class, or a class with the same principles, should be required for most students, since I see this class as more important than an algebra one.

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    • 2 points (extra post). I’m grateful that you appreciated the message about the importance of our connection with nature that was fundamental to a lot of our readings. (And I’m sure algebra will come in useful in life, too. 🙂 )

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